A FOOTBALL team has blasted the "disgraceful" mess left behind on the pitch by travellers - on the eve of the new season.

A group of travellers started to arrive on the pitch at Wesley Place Field, Fifth Street, Low Moor, Bradford, last Thursday night.

About 12 caravans, cars and trucks were reported on the site but the travellers moved off the site on Saturday night after police issued them with a Section 62 notice on Friday evening which meant they had 24 hours to leave.

The travellers have left behind bags of rubbish, two large red gas canisters, piles of bricks and dirt and rubble in several locations on the pitch.

One of the pitches' goal mouths has also seen its grass taken off and left the soil underneath exposed.

Junction FC, which plays home matches on the pitch, kick off in the Bradford Sunday Alliance Football League Division 2A with a home match this weekend.

But that fixture could be in jeopardy with members of the squad meeting up tomorrow night at the site for their scheduled weekly training session to assess the damage and the mess left behind.

Gareth Hopkins, Junction FC's player-assistant manager, said: "It's a disgrace not having the decency to clean after after yourself. Anyone else would be fined.

"It's up to us to clean it up. We will have to get together as a team to get it sorted.

"We are starting our season and it's a big thing and we don't need this hassle. We are only a small club.

"The travellers have been doing a circle and going to different sites around here.

"They are taking the Michael. More needs to be done to stop it from happening.

"It happens every year all around Bradford. The Council need more powers.


"It was a big inconvenience. We pay £400 for the pitch for the year. Our first league game is at home. It could be in jeopardy. We will have to have a look at the pitch.

"How will we get rid of the mess? We would get punished by the Council for fly-tipping."

This summer has seen a number of illegal camps set up in various locations across Bradford.

This month, a group of travellers moved their caravans on to the football field at Carrbottom Recreation Ground in Carrbottom Road, Bankfoot.

In July, a group of travellers were forced to apologise for setting up camp at a war memorial in Bradford.

But their actions caused outrage in Low Moor when four caravans appeared on the Cenotaph in Cleckheaton Road at the junction with Common Road.

Speaking last week on getting travellers removed from illegal sites, Councillor David Robinson (Ind, Wyke) said: "It's becoming ridiculous.

"The law needs to be changed. It takes a week to get a court order and then the travellers generally move on. It's getting totally out of hand now."